Sunday, February 24, 2013

Still on Chicken Street, Buzakashi Boys

I want so bad for my life to mean something. I want to make a mark. I want to fulfill my destiny. I want to leave a legacy. I hope - desperately - that someday all my contributions, no matter how big or small, get noticed and that the world is a better place because I did my part.

I think we all want that in some way.
To be noticed.
To be seen.

I know my athlete-of-a-son dreams of those things.
And in my heart of hearts I think I do too. Not with sports, of course, but with my words. I write, throw my stories out in the universe and wait, vulnerably, hoping someone notices.

I think that's why the book project I'm working on was such an awesome thing. Someone called me, said, "Stephanie, are you sitting down? I want you to write a book for me!".

I mean, c'mon! That's every writer's dream, right?

Being discovered.
If we are discovered we'll make it.
If we make it we'll never have another financial worry.
If we have all we need we'll be happy.
If we could just be discovered.

Except I don't see it that way anymore.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Pantry Inquisition

I have five kids which means I am constantly outnumbered. Each and every morning I wake up with the looming fear of a potential mutiny on my mind. Sure I run a tight ship but it's not because I enjoy being an uber-organized, Type A personality. I’m simply afraid of the chaos that will ensue if I ever lose my authority.

Take our pantry for example; because it's much more economical to feed the kids myself than eat out, I have to know what seven people are eating for dinner every day, seven days a week. I check our family calendar for events, plan meals accordingly, and write a grocery list every week. This is a huge responsibility as our consumption levels are massive. In fact, our monthly grocery bill is larger than our mortgage. And I shop at discounted stores!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I'm Writing a Book!

Last month I took the plunge and announced that this year I'll be writing a book.

Announcing that news makes it so .... so ... scary/official/permanent/vulnerable.

But I am a writer. I'm not going to be a writer. I don't hope to be a writer. I am a writer.

While the project is moving forward - ever be it so slowly - it is still "on the table" as my new friend and coauthor will say.

Because some details are still in the works I there's much I still can't say but what my friends & loved ones can know is this:

  • I was approached to help write a book
  • I was chosen based on my Practical Parenting column
  • My partner is a man of noble character & is a highly respected individual
  • Sometimes I can't fall asleep at night because all I can think about is the opening sequence of the story where the guys are gathered around the table and ....

I'll keep ya posted.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Downton Abbey, Car Crashes & Blizzards

On Sunday I watched the season 3 ending of Downton Abbey and sat shocked as the Twittersphere roared in grief as new father, Matthew Crawley crashed his car and plummeted to his death on the day of his first and only son's birth.

The next day, on Monday, my daughter and I were also cruising along in our car across the interstate. We were returning from senior preview day at (fill in prestigious name of college here). It is her dream to be able to attend. Our minds were filled with nothing but hope and faith for her future until a snowstorm of blizzard-like proportions came out of the blue. As the largest flakes I've ever seen hammered against the windshield I couldn't help but think of Matthew Crawley's fate and wondered if ours was similar.

I gripped the steering wheel, she pulled radar up on her phone, and my twins sat blissfully unaware in the back seat as they watched a DVD.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Write this Down

If list making garnered a salary I would be the best paid women in America. Not only do I have multiple lists I am, at any given moment, managing lists about my lists. I have a to-do list for work, for home and for my writing projects. I keep a running grocery, gift idea, pass word and calorie count list. I have lists in notebooks, on monogramed pads of paper, in my phone and on sticky notes I keep in my van.

Sometimes I rewrite my lists just to make them look neater. I am thrilled when my to-do lists are in chronological order and, on occasion, I write a task on my list just so I can cross it off. The thrill of accomplishment is so self-satisfying it's honestly, a little embarrassing.

Admittedly, all those lists keep me, and keep me looking, very busy. And since I'm being honest I will also confess that a small part of me likes that. If you notice my busyness then you'll assume I have important and pressing tasks to tend to. Important tasks infer importance. If you think I'm important then that validates me. I, therefore, create more activity so you'll continue to be impressed. Often this leaves me drowning in lists, multitasking nightmares and endless activities.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Menu Monday

I work 2 nights this week & hubs has 2 games - to say I have some "challenges" this week when it comes to family meal time is, at best, a bit of an understatement. We may not be gathered around the table but everyone still needs to eat. So the challenge this week is having food on hand, that I don't have to slave in the kitchen to create on a budget ... a very tight budget. Can I do it? Well, I'm going to try. Here's what the Sikorski Tribe are having for dinner this week.

Sunday - Belgium Waffles & Biscuits and Gravy (weird combo - I know - but I didn't have enough of one or the other for all 7 of us so some had waffles some had biscuits)

Crockpot Taco Soup (I love soup on the weekends 'cuz it makes great lunches for a busy week like this!)
I also made these to munch on! Magic Cookie Bars.

Monday - hot dogs and macaroni and cheese
(I'm actually making it to go as we'll be on the bleachers from 4:00 till about 8:00)

Tuesday - Shredded Chicken Sandwiches with carrots and ranch

Wednesday - Chicken Cordon Blue with french fries (have you tried Rally's fries?!?) Yum! (on rushed nights I buy frozen chicken patties, cook 'em and top with ham and swiss cheese - serve on a bun, baby!)

Thursday - Cheeseburger Stromboli

Friday - Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

for more awesome recipe ideas check out
The OrgJunkie's Menu Plan Monday

What are you cooking this week?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Stick A Pin In It - Instead of organizing and cleaning my house, I pin ideas on how to organize and clean my house. The irony is not lost on me.I consider myself a technologically advanced, modern mother. The fact that I have more social networking accounts than bank accounts validates this statement. I tweet, blog, post, pin and have klout. I mostly enjoy all of it with exception to the latest social website to take the internet by storm. Pinterest is ruining everything. Allow me to explain.

Pinterest, in case you’re unaware, is a virtual bulletin board. Users can create a board for anything imaginable. Then, as Pinners surf the internet they can collect any idea, photo or website in one organized location. You can pin ideas for every holiday, any possible party theme, organizational tricks for your home, as well as any number of recipes or crafts.

In addition, Pinterest users can have access to other pinner's boards. Maybe there is a tech guru on Pinterest and following him or her will give you quick, concise access to all the latest gadgets. You can also follow the boards of teachers, fashionistas, interior decorators, web designers or your best friend.

To be honest, it is not that much different than electronic hoarding.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Menu Monday

Welcome to Menu Monday.
I admit, I am one of those women who plan out the week's meals. I always have been as I have memories of my mother's lists laying in the pile on my childhood kitchen table. She was feeding four kids, I am feeding 5. Planning ahead helps our budget and my sanity. It's true! I was recently asked, "But what if you don't feel like Tacos on Tuesday?" I get that but for me, it's more stressful to figure out what to feed this Tribe after a long day at work than worry about whether or not I have an actual taste for what's on the menu. To that end - here's my list. My menu is semi-homemade. It's full of easy recipes and most everyone in the family likes them. Use my recipes. Get inspired or bring your family around the table. I know for my busy Tribe it is one of the best times of the day!

SUNDAY - brunch
Muffins and fruit salad

MONDAY - Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (from A Bloggable Life) and Paula Dean's Crock pot Mac and Cheese
(and if I have time I'll defrost a loaf of self-rising dough and bake bread) ((truth is: I like the smell of baking bread in my home))

WEDNESDAY - Grands! Taco Melts & Taco Pizza
(I will make more ground beef then necessary on Tuesday for this dish. Hubs will be not be home for dinner and the kids won't mind a practical repeat from the night before. I often dress up leftovers so they'll actually eat it. Also, premade pizza crusts are a real time saver!)


FRIDAY - Pizza
Thinking about using leftover taco meat as a pizza made me hungry for pizza (one of my favorite dishes). We won't order out. I'll use premade pizza crusts to make 3 pizzas: cheese, sausage & chicken bacon ranch (save some of the chicken I cooked on Monday) and pile it on with Alfredo sauce, precooked, chopped bacon and provolone cheese! Yum-O.

Be sure to check out the OrgJunkie's website for more menu planners and their recipes!

What about you? I'd love to hear from you! Are their any other menu planners out there? or What are some of your family's go-to recipes?  I'm always looking for new ideas!

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